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What’s Going On – 10/20

Are you registered to vote? Do you know your polling place? Early voting facilities are not the same venues where you vote on election day.

Ron DeSantis

Most national pollsters say that the races are close. To say that America is divided is an understatement. Will the Primary voters return to polls on 11/8? There is not much talk about split-ticket voting. Will GenZers vote? The number of crazies running for Congress and in local elections is unreal. About 60% of voters will have 2022 election deniers on their ballots. What and who are we voting for? Preservation of democracy, inflation, and abortion rights. Is autocracy or democracy on the actual ballots? Already, Florida Governor Ron De Santis is arresting people for voting. He plans to underwrite monies to transport more immigrants from Texas to New York. Monies he used to send immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard were drawn from federal funds to address COVID.

Media mogul Byron Allen closed on a $100 million home in Malibu, California. It is reportedly the largest home purchase sale by an African American.

Flu shots are a necessity this fall. Surges in Covid 19 cases are expected this fall/winter. New York health officials recommend that COVID booster shots should be administered. They say boosters and flu shots could be taken on the same day. Both are obtainable at NYC Health and Hospital facilities or local pharmacies by appointment.

Kiese Laymon

MacArthur Fellows: Congrats to all 25 Fellows who made the Class of 2022 MacArthur Genius Awards, a no-strings-attached $800,000 grant for each grantee over five years. The following lists the nine Black MacArthur 2022 grantees. Gabrielle Foreman, literary historian; Moriba Jah, astrodynamics; Joseph Drew Lanham, ornithologist; Kiese Laymon, educator/writer “How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others In America;” Ruben Jonathan Miller, sociologist; Tomeka Reid, jazz cellist/composer; Loretta J. Ross, Reproductive Justice, and Human Rights Advocate; Tavares Strachan, Interdisciplinary Conceptual Artist; and Amanda Williams, artist/architect.

THEATER: Curtains come down for the final time on January 15. 2023 at the Lyceum Theatre for “A Strange Loop,” Michael R. Jackson’s brilliant, irreverent Broadway play earned a Pulitzer Prize for best drama and the 2022 best musical Tony. “Loop’s handlers say that it is the “Blackest, gayest show to hit Broadway.” LGBT History Month is not lost on Loop’s producers, who will host a BIG BLACK AND QUEER night and moderate a special talkback on October 27!

Angelica Ross

This season’s Broadway revivals include Arthur Miller’s “Death of A Salesman” and August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.” There is also TOPDOG/UNDERDOG, by Suzan-Lori Parks, at the John Golden Theatre.
African American actress Angelica Ross makes history as the first Trans lead in a Broadway musical, CHICAGO. Ross starred in TV productions “Pose” and “American Horror Story.” Lorraine Hansberry’s “A RAISIN IN THE SUN” is back in NY at The Public Theater and is staged from the women characters’ perspective.

Hank Willis Thomas

FINE ART: The Jack Shainman Gallery exhibit, “Everything We See Hides Another Thing” by Hank Willis Thomas, closes on October 29. The fine arts show comprises “large-scale sculptures, mixed media textile works and retroreflective prints, an exploration of color theory, gestures of unity and strength and the myriad ways we view a given historical moment or subject.” Willis is NY based conceptual artist whose themes relate to identity, history, and pop culture. The gallery is located at 513 West 20 Street, Manhattan. Visit

MEDIA: Don Hudson named top editor at Newsday newspaper, based in Long Island, serving Nassau and Suffolk Counties. NY. Hudson, 61, is the first Black to lead Newsday, founded in 1940.


Read the new Charlayne Hunter-Gault book “My People: Five Decades of Writing about Black Lives,” published soon. Born in South Carolina, her life is the stuff that good scripts are made of. Hunter helped desegregate the University of Georgia in 1961, then led a distinguished career as a civil rights advocate and journalist with the NY Times, CNN, PBS, and National Public Radio.

RACE/ETHNICITY: Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month ( 9/15 to 10/15) has come and gone without any insights. There is a significant gap in the definition of “Hispanic” and “Latino” culture, which is defined one way by North/South Americans and another way by Europeans. Read about NY Latinos like NYS Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, a Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law School, and US Congress alum; Congressmen Ritchie Torres, Adriano Espaillat and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winner for his novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”

Nury Martinez

L.A. RACISM: A tape revealed racist remarks by LA City Council President Nury Martinez about Oaxacan immigrants from Mexico as “little short, dark people” and her Black child/monkey comparisons. The tape cost her job and her City Council seat. NY Times opinion writer Charles Blow’s essay “A Revealing Racist Rant in L.A.” is insightful and rooted in a new reality. Isn’t Martinez a Latino? He begins. “I have a theory that worries me with the browning of America, white supremacy could simply be replaced, or buffeted, by a form of “lite” supremacy, in which fairer-skin people perpetuate a modified anti-Blackness rather than eliminating it.” He reminds the reader that “racism is perpetuated by those who benefit from it.”

Valerie Jarrett

On October 23, we celebrate SCORPIO. Birthday greetings and shoutouts to its natives: President Joe Biden; Secretary Hillary Clinton; Sean (Puff Daddy) Combs, DRAKE; Isseu Diouf, Africanspot Publisher; Joy Elliott writer/editor; Darryl Floyd, hair and lifestyle curator; Whoopi Goldberg; Vy Higginsen, Mama Foundation; Valerie Jarrett, President Obama adviser: Colin Kaepernick, NFL, Nicole Benjamin-Horsford, Nia Long, Tracy Morgan, Sharon Lopez, lifestyle curator, Esther Perry, Stanley McIntosh, Harlem Block Association Leader; Dr. Condoleezza Rice; Tracee Ellis Ross; NYS Supreme Court Judge Verna Saunders, Gabrielle Union, Damon Wayans; and Chet Whye, political consultant.

A Harlem-based pop culture consultant/griot, Victoria, can be reached at

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